began out here in San Diego with a bang. No really. Like
my Powerbook hitting the curb in front of the Manchester
Grand Hyatt as I was stepping out of a cab. My baby survived
other then a small dent and some scratches to her aluminum
casing. Oh well, she’s got a lot of miles on her.
As a career coder I’m always working on my understanding
of design and experience to create more useful software. The
duo’s presentation did not disappoint.
The broke designing a web applications into 5
- Strategy - what is this thing
about? who is it for? what is it supposed to do for
- Scope - what is it? supposed
- Structure - how do those
- Skeleton - flesh
those out. how do they become real?
- Surface - how do we make these visually
They begin with the abstract and work their way down to
the more specific.
People typically have one of two views of the Web that
bring preconceived notions
- The Web As
Information. i.e. A newspaper.
- The Web As
Application. i.e. Software.
They noted that it’s both though and we need to look at
it both ways and continued to drill down through these 5
One important and reoccurring theme was the issue of
giving up designers in complete control. Designers should
create a container for users to have an experience in. They
must trust the user and see them as peers. In next
generation web applications users control their data.
Garrett is known for having coined the term AJAX
(Asynchronous JavaSscript and XML) just over a year ago. He
addressed this briefly noting that AJAX is about an
asynchronous interaction model and browser-native
technologies. “Forget the rest. This is what matters.”
Quoting Bruce Sterling he said AJAX is “Roller skates for
the web!” It helps you glide along faster and more
effortlessly then walking, but it takes some time and practice
to get good at it. They can also be more dangerous. He
predicted that for the next 2 years we will see a lot of bad
design choices in the use of AJAX.
One of the most useful discussions for me was that of
context which they described as a sense of time, place and
- Why is this happening?
can do here?
- What happens next?
- Where they
- Where they are.
Also covered was the first impression. Earlier in the day
Veen talked about a study that had performed were subjects
were shown a screen shot of a Web site for 1/20 of a second
and then asked whether they trusted the site or not. Results
were consistent across all subjects to which they trusted
and which they did not. The first impression of the surface
(look and feel) is quite important. Further users will ask
what is this thing? What does it mean? What should I do
next? Each screen needs to address these questions for the
best possible user experience.
With time running out, the duo noted that unlike the days
of monolithic applications or the “sticky eyes” mantra of
Web 1.0, “your site is just one piece.”